Speaking at Scottish Labour conference today, Douglas Alexander will urge Labour to consider the transfer of further fiscal powers from Westminster to Holyrood. However what Alexander is thought to be proposing is known as “Devo Plus”, rather than the “Devo Max” which the SNP are pushing for as an alternative to Independence. According to the Guardian, Alexander will say today:
“True to our history and alive to contemporary currents, we must be open-minded on how we can improve devolution’s powers, including fiscal powers, but be resolute in our rejection of separation”
Alexander will also tell delegates that Scottish Labour needs to chance, and argues against a “one more heave” strategy, according to the Telegraph, he’ll say:
“One more heave would simply guarantee one more defeat. And then another. And then another…We need to change and change radically, not to disavow our deepest beliefs but to become a better expression of them…We need to change so that people across Scotland who share our values but would not now consider standing as a Labour candidate will change their mind.”
There’s clearly a pointed reference to Labour candidates there, and a suggestion from Alexander that Labour’s current set of candidates in Scotland is lacking something. However many within the Scottish Party would argue that any weakness in Labour’s candidates for Holyrood elections is due in part to a “brain drain” to Westminster – something Alexander himself could be seen as part of.